In a colossal weekend surprise, Stacy & Tatiana blew up their nest, hatched their eggs into babies, and officially launched the next generation of Plover Park.
It is a well-deserved honor and couldn’t have happened to a sweeter pair of plovers.
So many of you had watched along in horror on The Little Egg Cam as Stacy & Tatiana’s first nest tragically hatched right during the Memorial Day weekend nor’easter. I wish we could have streamed this happy do-over, but there were two big problems: it took me by surprise and this nest was almost impossible to see.
What alerted me that the nest was hatching early on Saturday morning was the audio on The Little Egg Cam trained on their nest.
You couldn’t see a darned thing. But as Piping Plovers’ nests hatch, they make these sweet, soft whistles, singing lullabies to their new babies. The moment I heard that on The Little Egg Cam, I ran straight to the Park to have a look and, sho’ ’nuff, babies!
Stacy and Tatiana had hidden their nest so deep in the vegetation to hide from Coyote that there was no way to approach the nest without terrifying them since they could only detect you at the last moment. So everyone minimized checking the nest and just kind of waited for chicks to appear from the grasses and out on the beach once it was clear they were hatching.
Piping Plover usually nest in relatively open areas, protected by their incredible camouflage. So hiding in the grass was a desperate move. The limited visibility must have been hell for them. It’s been several weeks of constant paranoia for the pair, not being able to see a darn thing, chronically terrified of what awful things (including me) were going to appear in the thick grasses around the nest suddenly.
But it’s what they felt they needed to do, so they did it, and it worked. Once the hatch was complete, Stacy & Tatiana immediately marched their babies straight to The Finger, just as they did last year.
And so, we’re off! I’m so happy for Stacy & Tatiana. Free at last! I love these two. I know incubating those eggs in those grasses was stressful, terrifying, and exhausting for them. Yet it was as inspiring to watch as it was difficult.
But now, the real work begins. Stacy & Tatiana have to keep those tiny babies alive for the next 30 days as they stumble around trying to gain enough weight to fly to the Bahamas by September. Thank God they have Todd Pover’s Plover Park to give them a little space.
Did the incredible trauma of their enormous loss and hideous month hiding the grass make the pair weaker? Or stronger? Has the stress taken a toll on their skills and abilities, or has it only increased their drive and determination to succeed?
Stay tuned! Because there is never a dull moment in Todd Pover’s Plover Park.
And sorry we couldn’t stream this happy, happy hatch day. But here is a quick look at the hatch from the high-resolution ground cam. Can you see the baby? Hopefully this gives you a sense of what life was like at this unusual nest. Be sure to switch the video to 1080p (hi-def) for maximum Stacy and Baby.